How might our institutions provide intentional and sustainable pathways to build 21st century competencies and help our students find meaningful employment in their desired career field?
The Lab is pleased to announce a three-year engagement with UNCF’s Career Pathways Initiative (CPI). African-American unemployment rates remain almost twice as high as unemployment rates for whites. From March 2017 to March 2018, black unemployment averaged 7.4 percent compared to 3.7 percent average for white Americans.
As a response to lopsided unemployment rates, the Lilly Endowment invested $50 million to UNCF to create a Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) to fund efforts at 24 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and predominantly black institutions (PBIs) to strengthen institutional career placement outcomes. To support the understanding of employer needs and how they relate to the future of postsecondary education, The Lab has been contracted by UNCF to work with subset of 14 Career Pathways Initiative institutions to hasten and strengthen implementation of their plans.
The Lab will work with the selected institutions in three different cohorts with distinct focuses:
Foundational Education cohort: approaches include curriculum re-design, identification of gateway courses, and first and second year experiences that pose barriers to progression for students.
Workforce Development cohort: approaches to strengthen the connection between college majors and careers, such as through the development of strategic partnerships with the workforce.
Faculty Development cohort: approaches used to assist faculty in better understanding the skills and competencies needed in the workforce, and to aid faculty in aligning and delivering curriculum to those identified needs.
Innovation Capacity Building Design Sprint
The Education Design Lab first announced a partnership with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Career Pathways Initiative to co-host their 2nd Annual Career Pathways Initiative Convening with historically black colleges and universities (“HBCUs”). During this two-and-a-half day hands-on engagement in late June 2017, 27 college presidents and their senior teams explored innovation tools and design capacity for four-year HBCUs and primarily black institutions (PBIs) as they work to strengthen career outcomes for their students. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of graduates who immediately transition to meaningful jobs in their chosen fields.
The Lab is excited to have been able to bring its work on career pathways, 21st century skills development and skills-based hiring to the convening, as well as lead the teams through a design process in sprint form that helped them push parameters of possibilities and partnerships, and even their current structures and service delivery models. The sprint is part of the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), funded by Lilly Endowment, a $50 million investment over a seven-year period. The Lab introduced participants to design tools on empathy, ideation, prototyping and iteration. We engaged as provocateurs experts who are using “non-traditional” preparation methods to help minority students succeed after college.
Questions? Partnership ideas? Contact us at CareerPathways@eddesignlab.org
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